Man at His Best

Long Live Kabuke

Let the bar feed you the secret to longevity.

BY Joy Ling | Mar 15, 2018 | Food & Drink

Images from Yong Kai

Okinawans are famed for their life expectancy. 34 centenarians per 100,000 citizens, that’s above three times the rate of mainland Japan, and several more times the rate of our local population, we’re sure. As the closest thing to immortality, we’re led to believe that if it’s not the lifestyle, it’s the food. Forget “eat as low down the food chain as possible” nonsense, we live for the new Okinawan diet. Jointly brought by the Okinawa Prefecture and leading gourmet guide Gurunavi, the Okinawa Menu Fair is a generous share of cuisine secrets happening until the 28th this month.

Of the five participating restaurants, Japanese gastrobar Kabuke has transformed Okinawan produce into a three-course menu exclusive to the event. The Goya Tempura with Umibudoh is bitter gourd prepared tempura style and plated in Shikuwasa honey ponzu. Shikuwasa, while often confused with lime, has a higher concentration of citric acid, carotene and mineral content than any other citrus fruit. With its native village having a bunch of healthy old folk (100 out of 3,500 residents, if anyone’s asking), it just might be the fruit of eternal life. Might. Any expectation of bitter taste from the gourd is neutralized by the melt-in-the-mouth cream cheese and bacon filling. Top it off with rare delicacy sea grapes and you have the first dish.

Rafute bears similarity to a familiar chinese dish, being both braised pork belly stewed in soy sauce. Enter the Okinawan elements– sweet brown sugar, sour wild garlic pickle and salty mustard tuille. It is served perfectly with Awamori, liquor indigenous to Okinawa, which is so smooth you would think its alcohol percentage is half the actual 25%. No meal is complete without dessert. Finish off with Sata Andagi, a crispy-soft paradox of Okinawan donuts glazed with sweet potato cream and possibly the best sea salt ice cream.

Kabuke is located at 200A Telok Ayer Street, Singapore 068638. For more inquiries, call 8822 5525.